App Sale: Graphic puzzler FRAMED gets price slash

App Sale: Graphic puzzler FRAMED gets price slash

Aug 15, 2017

Every now and then, we come across a game that grabs a hold of us.

FRAMED is one of those. It’s an interesting, comic-like game that we loved, and, coincidentally, is also on sale right now.

To play it is to get engrossed in it. Every “page” comes together like a graphic novel, except that the middle frames are jumbled up; the idea is to shift said middle images around in such a way that a coherent story is formed, and one gets from point A — the first frame — to point B — the culmination for that page.

And on to the next. And so on.

In any case, FRAMED can be had right now for $0.12. Yep, 12 cents… down from its regular price of $2.99

Not bad.

If you’re wondering why we love it, check our review from way back when.

By the way, the game has a sequel too, aptly named FRAMED 2.

[Our FRAMED Review]

[via Slickdeals]

Upcoming game Stronghold Kingdoms gets release date and teaser trailer

Upcoming game Stronghold Kingdoms gets release date and teaser trailer

Jul 31, 2017

Finally…

We’ve been keeping an eye out for this one for quite some time — Stronghold Kingdoms now has a release date: August 31st.

Now, if you don’t know about this PC-borne game, here are some details. It’s a castle MMO, and is all about battling other players for supremacy and goodies.

Firefly’s Lead Designer Simon Bradbury talks about how much this game means to the company. “Firefly Studios quite possibly wouldn’t exist without Stronghold Kingdoms” he says. “At a time when the company was down from over thirty developers to a skeleton crew of five, we took a gamble on free to play and the Stronghold community saved us. To see that game come all the way from its humble beginnings to a full mobile launch with millions of players makes me incredibly happy.”

With that, we can’t wait to check this out. In the mean time, check out the trailer below:

[via Firefly website]

Adventure Time Run goes live on Google Play

Adventure Time Run goes live on Google Play

Jul 31, 2017

Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time has a few mobile iterations on Google Play, but now, it gets the running treatment in the just released Adventure Time Run.

Of course, Finn, Jake and the rest of the whimsical crew definitely make their collective presence felt; the game incorporates several familiar environments and characters that are available to be released.

As far as gameplay goes, it runs like any other lane runner. See you long you can make it! There are collectibles, ranking systems and “adventure portals… just what a growing mobile gamer needs.

The game is free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play.

[Google Play link]

The good old days…

I admit it… I miss the good old days.

Way, way back when… when mobile games and utilities were novelties that cost as much — and sometimes even more — than similar desktop applications. Heady days, I tell you. Finding that special application could make or break your mobile experience.

Back then, Palm and WinMo were the platforms to contend with, and the mobile apps available were slick pieces of engineering. Remember Datebk and Agendus (by Pimlico Software and Iambic respectively)? Well, you were not — could not — be organized without them. Calendar, to-do and everything in-between for the mobile professional. Owning one or the other was a sign of seriousness. Owning both? Hello.

And then, what about TomTom Navigator? Yo, $150 got you the best GPS software at the time (before adding a bluetooth puck, by the way). SplashMoney was king when it came to managing financial accounts. Think about it… checkbook balancing with every Hotsync.

And there were games too. A whole lot of games. Bejeweled found a mobile home early on, as did fantastic entries like Chuzzle, Platypus and more. Look, if you didn’t have an Astraware game, you didn’t know games. Seriously, that studio had my free time on lock. I still think that Hellfire: Apache vs Hind is one of the best games to ever make it to mobile, but I am sentimental like that.

The Broken Sword series (from Revolution). SimCity. You name it, and I probably had it. Owning games meant spending money.

It is a different day now. Back then, freeware was probably unique, so much so that they were cataloged separately (prior to the proliferation of app stores). Now, free-to-play is pretty much the standard.

On the surface, it’s all good. Kudos to developers reacting to the market, and figuring that creating experiences that give the user the option to go for more (or using ads) was the way to go. Everyone wins, no?

Still, I miss the old days, when buying a full-fledged application was the way things were done. I am not against IAPs, but I do wish I had an opportunity to procure some games outright. Developer, name your price. I decide if I want to pick it up. May the best app win.

That’s my perfect world.

But the app market has spoken, and I do have to respect it. Now, instead of the semi-functional demo version that leads one to get the full version, we have it all in one package. Micro-transactions are the law of the mobile gaming land. More downloads, potentially more money for the developer willing to put out a great game AND put in the work to keep said hit game maintained.

But I am allowed to reminisce I think. I will look back at the good old days, where I spent a lot and got a whole lot more… I think. there was a whole lot less available, numerically speaking, but I do feel like I was a better supporter of those who made the apps.

My App Addiction: Swagbucks

My App Addiction: Swagbucks

Jul 31, 2017

The internet is one great window shopping trip. For me, at least, it is. I love finding cool, useful stuff, especially gadgets. Now, the whole process works for me because I have one crazy flaw: I dislike buying stuff at full price. I will if I absolutely have to, but usually, I’m perfectly fine not purchasing an item if it isn’t on sale at that point in time.

Consequently, I’m always looking for a deal. Yes, one has to consider the ROI of deal-chasing, but still, Swagbucks is a great tool to have when it comes to pulling the trigger with specific retailers.

Swagbucks is a way to earn “swagbucks” for answering surveys and shopping. Said swagbucks can be redeemed for cool goodies like Amazon gift cards. Some of the surveys feel more invasive and time-consuming than others, but the shopping aspect is compelling; what essentially comes to cash back for shopping and the like can be addictive. For example, buying stuff at Macys.com can net you 6% in swagbucks… basically, 6 swagbucks for every dollar spent.

Bucks can be redeemed for gift cards from Amazon, Target, Paypal, Walmart and several other big name companies.

Of course, for folks that are especially mobile — self humbly included — it wouldn’t be as cool without a companion app.

Now, I use the app more for reference. If I am out and about, and see something on sale (or am notified of a great price via another one of my addictions Slickdeals), I usually check to see if it a seller that gives out swagbucks. If it does, I figure it might be better to purchase online, maybe even via my phone, so as to get the affiliate link.

It’s also possible to do the aforementioned surveys on the go. As noted, these can be quite inquisitive, but for those that don’t mind answering truthfully, it can be a great way to answer these surveys and earn bucks while hanging out at the doctor’s office or during have time of a sporting event.

The mobile app also allows users to rack up bucks by watching videos. Now, this is not the quickest way to garner points, no, but just like the surveys, it’s a great, mobile way to get these done. Now, even cooler if you love watching movie trailers.

The app, of course, also provides notifications with regards to swagbucks-gaining opportunities. It’s the best way to find out about the so-called swag codes that pop up on Facebook and elsewhere. Such codes can be entered right there within the app.

Swagbucks is far from something new, or especially unique at this point. What makes it relevant for me is its ability to potentially make an already sweet deal even sweeter. The app helps keep track of where I am on the go, and to effect sensible purchases when I am away from my desktop or Chromebook. It takes an important app to earn a lasting spot on my primary devices, and Swagbucks has earned one.

Last Day on Earth: Tips and Tricks

Last Day on Earth: Tips and Tricks

Jul 31, 2017

Zombies are the in-thing, and Last Day on Earth: Survival is a game that really brings them to life. It’s an expansive game, and even as it makes its way to full release, we can’t stop talking about it.

Here are some tips and tricks — for the true newbies — to help you get going.

Get a stash of edible resources
Food and drink are very important (duh!). As you play, there are hunger and thirst meters that inexorably tick down to zero. Reaching zero on either means death, so it is important to consume sustenance when warning pangs begin to appear.

Along these lines, it might be a good idea to always have a snack and/or drink handy when out and about. Depending on the locale, it might also be a good idea to pick up some berries or even rustle up some game meat to supplement your eats.

But don’t forget that water. “Regular” food does help with thirst, but nothing beats a bottle of water.

Don’t throw stuff away
This one is obvious, but crafting makes up a huge part of this game. When you are out and about collecting stuff, you’ll most likely find pieces that might not feel that important. Keep them.

Being a beta and all, there are quite a few teased vehicles that aren’t available yet. Those pieces will become important.

Opportunity costs abound; choose wisely
So much of the gameplay comes down to choice.

Right from the beginning, you accumulate limited resources. Then, you have to decide what to use these resources to do. Some things might feel more important than others… that rain catcher, for instance, is a great pickup. One might be able to hold off on making, say, a gunsmith table, even after it is available.

The same applies to making runs. Limited space to carry all those things, so you have to decide what is most important… or spend valuable energy on multiple trips.

Fight. A lot
To get the important stuff unlocked, you need to reach specific XP thresholds, and one of the best ways to reach those markers is to dispatch zombies. Hey, find some and go to town, and watch the XP pile up.

An added advantage is that some zombies have goodies you can pick up, including those ultra important bunker access cards. Other survivors can be tricky, but the payoffs for taking them out can be well worth it.

Bonus tip: crouching and creeping up on enemies is the way to go.

…but don’t be scared to run
Look, discretion is sometimes the better part of valor. It might behoove you to sneak away. Other times, running at a fast clip to avoid gruesome toxic spitters or floater bloaters is smart. No shame in staying alive.

When you die in-game, you re-spawn at your home… with nothing but the red underwear you started with. That means you lose any food, weapons, raw materials and the like that you acquired. This can be painful, so knowing when to flee to the safe green areas bordering the environments is important.

Bonus tip: if you die away from home and lost a bunch of stuff, you might be able to recover the loot from your dead body (no, really) if you go back immediately after re-spawning. It’s an interesting game quirk.

Farming is key
You’ll need raw materials, and a lot of them. The batch that is accessible in your home environment is simply a starter stash, and you’ll have to travel to get more. So, get storage boxes, and get those materials. Wood, ore, limestone plant fiber, seeds and the like. Plant seeds are great; along with a garden or two, they can provide a never-ending supply of carrots. Wood is a biggie, as is iron ore — down the road.

Bonus tip: see if you can get rid of all the zombies, and then activate “auto” to let your character farm automatically. XP galore!

Remember: it’s a beta
Officially, this one is still in beta. There is talk about the eventuality of a server wipe when it really goes live.

Enjoy!

[Google Play link]
[Our beta review]

Last Day on Earth: Survival Review: an impatient first look

Last Day on Earth: Survival Review: an impatient first look

Jul 31, 2017

Look… we’re not that hard to please. Drop, say, a survival game on us. Toss in crafting, fighting and zombies, and you might just get mobile gaming nirvana.

AKA Last Day on Earth: Survival? We hope so.

This one takes the newbie player small dab in the deep end; you get in and feel your way around. The player takes on a grim persona… as one of the few — very, very few — survivors of Just Another Zombie Apocalypse. That, along with the violence that erupted amongst those left behind effectively decimated 90% of the world’s population.

It’s a tough place to be. Back to the basics, human raiders, scarce resources and gruesome undead.

Let’s go.

The game utilizes a top-down view in the core action screen, with a virtual joystick to control primary movement. Visually, you get simple representations and effective animations. It’s isn’t overly complex to the eye, and it works.

As noted, it just starts. You plop down in a wilderness with items like trees boulders and the like. Some can be gathered, and others can be interacted with in some way, especially if one has the right tool. Intuitively, you collect all collectibles, and use them to craft tools that can help get more resources. Playing around helps to figure things out, too. Need a hatchet to chop down trees? Well, check out the crafting section, find out what you need to make it, and find those items.

ldoe3

The developer does do a good job of adding a good degree of logic. You have to have food and water. So, it makes sense to keep limited spots open for such necessities. Raw meat is great, but it behooves the player to unlock recipes to use with a fire to cook it. Empty water bottles and cans have value, as do seeds for future farms. Bathing is important, as nothing attracts the undead better than ripe BO; remember to relieve yourself when nature calls, because few things are as inconvenient as being attacked when using the little boy’s tree.

Actions acquire XP, which replenishes the lifebar. Said lifebar can be adversely affected by attack, famishment, and such. Yes, you can be revived, but you lose what you have on you if you die, which can be painful.

ldoe2

Several elements are level-restricted, so progress is key. For example, it helps to be able to hire farm workers, but one cannot hire such at lower levels. Also, making one’s way to a watchtower helps find new areas to visit, but that can only be achieved at a specific threshold.

Usually, this is where I delve into my self-indulgent rant about the gross unfairness of every requirements. Yes, this game has one, and yes, it somewhat restricts gameplay. It’s implemented interestingly enough, such that one had a choice. You see, it’s the main means to facilitate far travel, but of can choose to walk versus energy-consuming “running.”

I gotta say… I cottoned to this one pretty quickly. It’s fun (albeit beta) endeavor, and just as easily played in spurts as it is over long periods.

Video of the Day: Fleet Glory releases multiplayer action trailer

Fleet Glory is a recent naval thriller from Oasis Games that packs in realism, action and WWII-themed battles into a tidy mobile package.

Now, we here that multiplayer is nigh. Check out the trailer:

Can’t wait… bring it on. The game remains free (with in-app purchases) on the Play Store.

[Google Play link]

App giveaway: Graphing Calculator + Math PRO is free!

App giveaway: Graphing Calculator + Math PRO is free!

Jul 31, 2017

Hey, you never know when you might need that special piece of equipment. A reset pin, for instance. Or, say, an air compressor.

What about a graphing calculator?

We got you, fam!

Mathlab Apps is offering its Graphing Calculator + Math PRO for the nice, astounding price of FREE.

That’s down from its regular price of $6.99.

And this one looks to do just what its title says; it does scientific and graphing functions, yes, and provides multiple workspaces, and can even be used when one doesn’t have internet connectivity.

It can be used for algebraic operations, probability/statistics, and fractions, plus more. Chromebook support is an additional plus.

No word on how long it’ll last, so get it while the gettin’ is good.

[Google Play link]
[via Slickdeals]

Authoritarian thriller ‘Beholder’ adds features via update

Authoritarian thriller ‘Beholder’ adds features via update

Jul 31, 2017

Beholder (from Creative Mobile Publishing) is all about Big Brother and choice.

Don’t do it!

Or should you?

It’s shadowy — both physically and gameplay-wise — with great CYOA elements, and now, it’s getting an update.

The newest build brings cloud support (yay!); now, it is possible to pick up and play the same game across connected Android devices. Also notable in this update is that the app is slimmed down (according to the changelog, it is 260 mb smaller now).

There is also a new animation added, which allows players to see the lead character moving to a selected action.

Finally, there are bug fixes.

Now, we were somewhat smitten with Beholder when we took it for a spin way back when; we’d be selfish if we kept such goodness to ourselves. It comes in two flavors: free and full for $4.99.

[Our Beholder review]

Jon ‘Bones’ Jones launches own emoji app: BonesMoji

Jon ‘Bones’ Jones launches own emoji app: BonesMoji

Jul 30, 2017

BonesMoji is a new emoji collection app, and is the fruit of a notable collaboration between UFC great and current Light Heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones and AppMoji Inc.

This one comes just in time to mark Bones high profile victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 on July 29th.

On Android, the app installs as a keyboard extension, and gives the user access to full library of Bones-inspired graphics. They are atypical to say the least, and do lean towards the creative side. There are more than 60 of them, and they mark unique moments from Jones career; the fighter himself helped curate them.

AppMoji Founder and chief Oliver Camilo talks about things he and Jones have in common. “Jon and I both come from the same hometown in Upstate NY, which made this a logical fit for us,” he says. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Jon and First Round Management for this exciting release.”

Not all of us and kick butt like Bones, but we can send messages like him… for $1.99 via the Play Store.

[Google Play Link]

Introducing Fishalot, a new game from Playfiber

Introducing Fishalot, a new game from Playfiber

Jul 30, 2017

Indie studio Playfiber has just launched a new game called Fishalot on Google Play.

If the title makes you think about fishing, then it’s probably done its job; indeed, this one is a casual fishing game, but one which looks to emphasize the, well, enjoyable aspects.

For example, no waiting forever on fish to bite. Fishalot employs a tapping system instead of “true” casting, such that reaction is a bit more important at the onset. There are different types of fish, and a host of XP to earn, which leads to RPG elements. To get better catch, you have to improve and build upon your base equipment.

Easy to understand and get into.

The independently created trailer (below) highlights a fun-looking affair, and if we go by looks, it definitely looks a bit much like a game we’d love to have a go at it.

Fishalot is free to download and try, and also has in-app purchases to expedite stuff if needed.

fishalot

[Google Play link]
[via game website]